It seems that every call I have had this month, includes a statement something along the lines of “I will need to wait to get back to you until next week. My whole office on vacation”. Makes sense, August is the last chance for relaxation before the back-to-school craziness begins and for a lot of people, it is when they plan their vacation. While this slowness can be a little annoying because maybe you aren’t pulling in as much revenue as the other months of the year, you can really take advantage of the downtime. The more you do while everyone is away, the more prepared you will be when everyone returns and wants to get down to business.
Organize your 1099 employee paperwork
I know this sounds outlandish to think about taxes when it’s 8 months away but this is the perfect time to get all your paperwork ready to hand over to your accountant. For Priceless, we use a lot of independent contractors and each one of those contractors have paperwork attached to them for tax season. If you don’t have a running roster of your contractors, start one now and include information that you need like their address, phone number, and most updated email address. Create a checklist of paperwork needed for each person and reach out to those that still owe you so you aren’t scrambling come April.
Catch up on financial projections
This task is one thing Priceless partner Justin has been adamant about and it is much appreciated. Even though we have an accountant that handles our big-picture money, we keep our own company metrics month to month. These metrics include how much we are bidding, how much we are receiving, overall labor costs, our company runway, and other tidbits that help us see our financial health. It is easy to put off crunching these numbers because, well, it’s boring. However, having this in order before your attention is sucked up by client work will help you out in the long run. Figure out a process that works for you it is easy-peasy once the months start flying by.
Tidy up the office
What better time to clean when everyone is gone? Go through filing cabinets that haven’t seen attention in a year. Organize the storage closet. Take a good look at your office kitchen (with an emphasis on the refrigerator) and throw out anything that hasn’t been used in the last 3 months. Cleaning will not only give you a feeling of newness, but will also give you a jump start on keeping the sickness away for when we get into the flu and cold months of winter.
Get serious about new hires
One of the biggest things that slacks during the summer is recruitment. New hires do require a little extra work by the team as a whole, so maybe it is easy for people to put it off until they are refocused come Labor Day. Maybe it is more about the candidates who are procrastinating because, well, wouldn’t you rather go to the beach? Whatever the reason, it is the optimal time to get ahead of your competitors and snag that talent you want and really need. Even if you aren’t planning on activating them until the last dog days are over, get them on the hook and committed so it is a super smooth transition and easy for them to get straight to work.
Re-evaluate your end-of-year goals
This one seems a little more obvious seeing that the end of the year is a mere 4 months away, but is often over-looked because August still feels a little early to be thinking of December. Trust me, it isn’t. What did you want to accomplish by the close of 2016? Have you been hitting these goals or do you still have some work to do? Take a look at where you’re at and make a 4th quarter game plan to get you there. If you are feeling really overwhelmed, consider what can realistically be done and what can creep into the new year. Knowing where you stand is half the battle and there is definitely time to finish strong.